Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hold on to fifteen as long as you can

I turned 35 about a week ago.
I'd like to report that I'm handling it well and am happily flittering along in life.
And then The Aunt would remind me that I shouldn't lie like that, lest my pants catch fire.

I'm not handling it well at all.
I'm having a mid-life crisis, and it-ain't-pretty. (And Daisy is freaked. out.)

I made the mistake of looking back on the last ten or so years of my life, and realized that nothing has changed.
I am still living in the same apartment (though one floor down) that I did when I was 25.
I am at the same job.
I am at the same church, doing about the same thing.

I have a couple of big decisions coming up, which is why I was reflecting on a little bit of everything. I have to buy a new (to me) car in the next couple of months, and I need to figure out where in the world I am living when the calendar turns to August. The Parents are pushing me to buy a house, which is adding to some serious anxiety.

When you are a Single Christian Girl, and people have recovered from the fact that you graduated from college without a ring by spring, they all have the same advice: Don't waste your life by just sitting around waiting on a man. It's good, sound advice, that I would dole out myself. But there's this one little element that no one takes into consideration. 

What if it never happens?
What if I was created to be a wife and a mother, but I have no husband and no child? 

And the big, hard, tear-inducing question, which is particularly relevant for me:

What if this is as good as it gets? 

I am not waiting on a man to do anything at all. But where I am at right now is about it. Career-wise, I am as high as I'm going to go. I have never had any desires to travel the world. My Rome trip was wonderful, and I'd like to go somewhere else, but it's not a lifelong aspiration. I'd be perfectly happy if I never left American soil again.

I have wanted to do mission work, and have. In three different countries. I am not called to the mission field long-term, as I can only go so long without Diet Coke, hot showers, and internet access.

Basically, what it boils down to is that it's time for me to give up the dream, and try to decide what I want the next ten years of my life to look like. And that is very scary. And discouraging. Because it will be in the same town, at the same church, doing the same thing. While others are waiting for their kids to grow up, and waiting to see who they will be, I will be... well, I will be exactly where I am right now.

When I talk to my friends about this, they all tell me they are praying for me, and try to pour hope over me, which is nice and appreciated, and gets me through the moment, but it's very easy to say "I know some day that God will send you a man" without having to go home to an empty apartment and try to make huge life decisions by yourself.

And there are no guarantees. There is nothing to block the heartache of loneliness. The feeling of not being wanted. Of going ten years without a date, or any real interest from someone

But what will I do?

Go on, continuing to live my life as I do right now.
What other choice do I have?


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